Transference. Ethan Rose and Andy Paiko. 2009. Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Holy.

I’m not going to use that word every day. But it’s the one that the sound of "Transference" brings to mind.

I’ve been thinking about how the secular humanist can miss out on opportunities to convene around music with transcendent possibilities (and/or joining in choral performance of same) by bypassing the great front doors of the church. I’ve been thinking that singing with other people is elevating. And I’ve been surprised recently by occasions when music has briefly lifted me out of now, pressing the pause button on everything but itself.

It is this sensation of a profound and elevating peace walled off from the rest of the world that sound artist Ethan Rose and glass artist Andy Paiko have created with "Transference," a room-sized armonica at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. It is arresting when one’s eyes are closed, and only more so when one opens one’s eyes to see the 37 large clear glass bell jars rotating on wall and pedestal in the Museum’s ground floor gallery, bell jars that Paiko and Rose report very nearly tuned themselves to the key of F (with only a little coaxing). Delicate, twisting, armatures connected to hidden timed switching mechanisms touch tiny cloths to the edge of the glass (as a finger on the edge of a wine glass), generating the rich tones that swell, sustain, overlap, and fade away.

Tonight, Reed Wallsmith and Joe Cunningham, two tremendously sensitive and magical saxophonists (of Blue Cranes and Better Homes & Gardens), play with/to the sounds of "Transference" during First Thursday from 6-7:30 PM. "Transference" closes this weekend. Please see it.